Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Green Infrastructure in Lenexa, Kansas for Stormwater

Rainwater to Recreation

Lenexa Kansas LogoThe city of Lenexa, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, has a grand vision for a more sustainable and livable community. Part of this vision has been to embark on a green infrastructure project to address stormwater runoff in Central Green, a new 10-acre park within City Center North that offers an abundance of open green space, cascading ponds with stepping stones, and a well connected trail system. The green infrastructure project, called Rain to Recreation, has revitalized the surrounding natural habitat by transforming area rainwater from a disposal problem into an appealing recreational amenity.

The cascading ponds, otherwise called step pools, are designed to increase oxygen levels and reduce the flow rate of stormwater. The series of step pools lead to a constructed wetland with native plantings for naturally treating and absorbing the water. This innovative adaptation turned Lenexa’s stormwater liability into an asset.

Lenexa KansasThe four key goals of the Rain to Recreation program:

  1. Flood prevention – flood prevention involves investigating complaints of existing flooding as well as modeling streams for potential flooding. If homes are threatened, Rain to Recreation works to initiate a capital improvement project to solve the problem.
  2. Water protection – Rain to Recreation protects restored streams and other natural areas with best management practices to also prevent and reduce pollution. Native plantings, stream buffers, sediment bays, wetlands and bioretention cells are just a few of the ways Rain to Recreation works to keep water clean.
  3. Habitat restoration – Rain to Recreation aims to improve surrounding habitat by leaving the bottom of restored channels natural, and providing riffle and pool structures in all restored streams, as well as native corridors adjacent to the streams. Striving also to protect a habitat zone around lakes for future preservation; provide fish structures, such as brush piles and sand beds in lakes, and nesting boxes for a variety of birds.
  4. Education and recreation – A vital part of every project is educating the community, whether it’s generating buy-in from the beginning, outlining recreational amenities like trails and playgrounds, or setting outlines for how to protect areas after construction. Rain to Recreation works to engage local citizens, businesses, and other area stakeholders to increase communication and satisfy needs.

Central Green Park – A Constructed Wetland

The main feature of Lenexa’s green infrastructure project for Central Green park is the stream way. The Central Green stream way drains 65 acres of rainwater runoff that is guided through seven constructed step pools to slow the flow and oxygenate the rainwater as it pours over rock prior to ending up in the constructed wetland. The wetland area is planted with native plants to support filtration of the rainwater. The roots of these native plants penetrate deep within the soil turning the soil into a big sponge that can easily soak up the rainwater. Through this bio-remediation process, stormwater quality is dramatically improved and easily absorbed on the property. This innovative stormwater management approach transforms stormwater from a cost to a benefit, not only for the natural environment, but also for social and recreational enjoyment for the community.

Take a virtual tour of Lenexa’s green infrastructure.

Lenexa One of America’s Most Livable Cities

As a result of the city of Lenexa’s vision, Lenexa was named one of the best places to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine in 2011. Also Lenexa has become a role model for other communities interested in reaping the benefits that green infrastructure design can bring to a community – showcasing their design process and outcomes so other communities can easily model and build upon their own stormwater management programs. Lenexa’s dedication to their vision shows the value of innovative stormwater management, watershed protection techniques, use of native plant species, along with recreational amenities and environmental education for community members – making Lenexa a better place for today and for the future.

EPA Supports Green Stormwater Management in Lenexa, Kansas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, contributed funding toward Lenexa’s green infrastructure project for Central Green. EPA’s stormwater website Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure – summarizes common green infrastructure approaches and key resources for research, funding and partnerships. The EPA recognizes the need for resilient and affordable solutions to the many frail infrastructures in need of replacement or repair. Green infrastructure is one solution. You can join GreenStream, and EPA listserv featuring updates on green infrastructure publications, training and funding opportunities by sending an email to this link.

Join EPA Green Stream List

Following is the EPA video clip detailing the Lenexa’s green infrastructure project for Central Green:

 Click Here to Learn More About Green Infrastructure

Drip Irrigation Emitter in Action

More than Meets The Eye

There is a lot more to a drip irrigation emitter than a simple hole in a hose. Drip emitters compensate for pressure and flush out dirt automatically. This video illustrates the capabilities and complexity of latest technology in drip irrigation.

pressure comp from Tom Barrett on Vimeo.

Video courtesy of Netafim 

EPA’s Fix a Leak Week March 12 – 19, 2012

EPA WaterSense Fix A Leak Week 2012










It’s the EPA WaterSense’s fourth annual Fix A Leak Week. From March 12th through March 19th WaterSense Partners, consumers, and professionals are asked to check their plumbing fixtures for leaking water.

The EPA estimates that each day over 10,000 gallons of water is lost due to leaking and dripping plumbing in American households. This is over 1 trillion gallons of water lost each year. This water loss is easily and inexpensively preventable by simply checking your toilets, showers, and facets for drips. It does not take much to fix a dripping facet or a leaky toilet.

If each of us makes a small effort to stop leaks we can, collectively, have a large impact.  Click here to see what others are doing.

And here are some things you can do:

Faucets and Showerheads

  • A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. A home with WaterSense labeled toilets could use that water to flush for six months!
  • Leaky faucets can be reduced by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. If you are replacing a faucet, look for the WaterSense label.
  • A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.


  • If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day.
  • If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
  • If you do need to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model. If a family of four replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save more than 16,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family approximately $2,000 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.


  • An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
  • An irrigation system with pressure set at 60 pounds per square inch that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency; look for a WaterSense irrigation partner.
  • Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

Source: EPA WaterSense Fix A Leak Fact Sheet 

Here is a fun commercial from the Wisconsin DNR

“Leaks Don’t Fix Themselves”

Rainwater Harvesting & Condensate Recovery Presentation at the Chicago Center for Green Technology

Rain IN the Street ImageChicago Center for Green Technology Presentation

Chicago, Illinois

March 1, 2012

Rainwater Harvesting and Condensate Recovery are two tools used in implementing sustainable water practices. Although not widely used in the United States, rainwater harvesting is used extensively in less developed parts of the world. Mistakenly, the primary benefit of rainwater harvesting is not the extensive water savings that can be achieved. The primary benefit from rainwater harvesting is to reduce the untreated sewer discharge into our local waterways that occurs with almost every rainfall.

In the presentation, Barrett will discuss how rainwater harvesting and condensate recovery not only reduces potable water usage but protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle.

Additionally, Tom will explain how rainwater harvest can help develop a natural solution for water efficiency, and relieve storm water management issues. By developing a rainwater harvesting systom or other environmentally responsible landscape solution, we can reduce the contaminants that collect in the sewer systems, and make a significant improvement for a cleaner and healthier environment.

“The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the United States’ water systems a grade of ‘D-,’ the lowest of any America infrastructure,” said Barrett. “Through increased use of rain gardens and bioswales, we can improve our water systems and create a better environment for plants, animals and people. “In his presentation, Barrett will explain just how essential some of these tools are to efficiently utilizing and managing water sources.

Here is the presentation from March 1, 2012. Below are the two movies.

Rainwater Harvesting & Condensate Recovery (Chicago 3.1.12)

View more presentations from Tom Barrett

How to Build a Rainwater Collection System from VideoJug


Video – A 30,000 Gallon Cistern Installation in Four Minutes

It seems everyone enjoyed the presentation and comments from the participants were great! With thirty-seven participants, it is rewarding to see interest in rainwater harvesting gaining momentum.

Here are some comments:

I really enjoyed the videos, especially making the rain barrel.

– Sheri Yarbrough


I get more than enough rain to water my garden and I flush my toilet. Cisterns are awesome!  Condensation should be used.

– Monica Skyora


Austrailia is producing some good water saving solutions. I likes the video on installing barrels; drip irrigation is 90% efficient

– Donna McGuire

I am looking forward to my next presentation at the Chicago Center for Green Technology during the summer.

Sustainable Environments

Sustainable Environments from Accent On Business on Vimeo.

Rainwater Infrastructure

Rainwater Infrastructure from Accent On Business on Vimeo.

Nature Always Wins

Nature Always Wins from Accent On Business on Vimeo.

Note: If you can’t view the video on this page, please click here.